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A destroyed military vehicle near a fence marked with the word 'people' in Bucha, Kyiv last week. @Anna Voitenko

Ireland to give €3 million to International Criminal Court conducting war crime probe

The ICC is investigating suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

IRELAND WILL GIVE €3 million in funding to the International Criminal Court (ICC), Foreign Minister Simon Coveney has announced.  

€1 million will be paid immediately to the office of the prosecutor, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

In his visit to Kyiv today, Minister Coveney said he discussed with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba the “essential need for accountability for the appalling acts committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.

“It is essential in all situations where war crimes may have been committed to undertake investigations and ensure the collection of evidence including in relation to crimes of sexual and gender-based violence and to provide support for witnesses, victims and survivors,” Coveney said in a statement. 

The minister said he met ICC prosecutor Karim Khan this week. 

“Ukraine is a crime scene. We’re here because we have reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court are being committed,” Karim Khan told reporters this week.

“We have to pierce the fog of war to get to the truth. That requires independent, impartial investigation.”

Coveney told RTÉ radio’s News at One: “We’re going to release €1 million immediately to the chief prosecutor Karim Khan.

“But I’m committing another €2 million to the International Criminal Court for the work that they need to do in the coming months and potentially the coming years.”

The ICC is investigating suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

Reports from human rights organisations and media outlets are now adding to a body of evidence against Russia.

Evidence of rape by Russian soldiers is mounting after women shared testimony of being sexually assaulted.

When asked on RTÉ Radio whether he would describe what is happening in Ukraine as “genocide”, as Joe Biden has and as Emmanuel Macron has refrained from doing, Coveney said that international lawyers would determine that.

“Certainly what we’ve seen is the mass murder of citizens, there’s no doubt about that.”

The Department said that Coveney’s visit to Kyiv is the first by any foreign minister of a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council since the war began.

Coveney said that the visit came about after Kuleba invited Coveney to the Ukrainian capital, and that discussions have been taking place over the past 10 days to organise the trip.

Contains reporting by Gráinne Ní Aodha.

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